Friday, September 16, 2005

Hurricanes 6, Capitals 0

[Update: Box Score - Recap]

Well, that was ugly. A quick recap: the Caps lost 6-0 as the 'Canes outshot their visitors 37-24. Cam Ward went the distance in net for Carolina, and was not tested often, especially in the third when the Caps managed just four shots on goal. Maxime Ouellet and Frederic Cassivi were in goal for the Caps. The Hurricanes were 4-for-14 on the power play, the Caps were 0-for-4 (gee, it was our old buddy Don Koharski calling the game, too).

Carolina got goals from Staal (pp), Williams (sh), Zigomanis (pp), Cullen (pp), Forbes and Stillman (pp). The Caps, who played without Ovechkin, Zubrus, Willsie and Semin (among others) got goals from no one.

After the game, the teams practiced a shootout (as all teams will in all preseason games), with both coaches rewarding their better players from the game. Glen Hanlon choose defensemen Jamie Heward and Mike Green and forward Eric Fehr, and Peter Laviolette choose forwards Radim Vrbata, Mike Zigomanis and Matt Cullen. As with the game, the Caps lost the shoout, though it was closer. Heward scored first, Vrbata was then stopped by Cassivi, Green missed the net, Zigomanis scored, Fehr was stopped by Ward, and Cullen scored.

Though it's hard to tell from just listening to the game, it sounds as if Heward was a lone bright spot for the Caps. Also worth noting, the Caps had travel issues and apparently only got in about a 2-minute pre-game skate. I'm sure that's why the played so poorly.

I look forward to seeing the coverage in the local papers tomorrow. I'll link to them in this post.

Update: And here they are. The WaPo notes that Hanlon praised the play of defensemen Green, Jeff Schultz and Brendan Witt (no mention of Heward). But how can you praise a defenseman (who is or at least was your team captain) who offers up the following excuse?
"Everyone needs some time to get used to the rule changes," veteran defenseman Brendan Witt said. "We arrived late today so we didn't get briefed. The officials came in after the second period and discussed it with us; it was supposed to be before. You can't clutch and grab anymore."
Earth to Brendan: everyone on the planet knew there was going to be a crackdown on obstruction - were you too busy demanding a trade to have heard the news?

The WTimes didn't bother wasting ink on this stinker of a game.

The Caps will try again with an entirely new squad Saturday night in Buffalo. Hopefully the results will at the very least be more respectable.


Anonymous said...

I read the washington post article talking about how the caps were not even notified of the new clutching/grabbing rules until after the second period, but I read and saw plenty on those rules on NHL's website that explained it clearly (with video and everything). It shows me that coaches just didn't prepare the players for the new rules. What will happen when the games count?

JP said...

I don't think it's the "new" rules the team had trouble with. Hooking, slashing, too many men, etc. have been on the books forever. It's just a silly excuse offered up by Witt who's well on his way to mailing it in until he gets his way and is traded.

As for why the Caps committed so many, look at the box scores from the other games last night. Sure the Caps committed 14 minors, but all six teams that played last night except for Carolina committed at least 10 minors. It's part of the big crackdown that will be over by Halloween.